A Message from the Pastor…………
WELCOME to all Easter worshippers at St. Monica: to our faithful parishioners, family and friends, and visitors joining us for this special feast. This year again, Easter comes at a glorious time of the earth’s rebirth. We can see trees budding, grass greening, perennial flowers coming out into bloom. With this glorious back- drop, we again announce the joyful news: Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead!
I know I’ll again experience truly great music this weekend. And I’m happy to find that at our parish, signs of Easter hope and joy abound. I will name three:
We’re still increasing in the number of Baptisms of little babies and toddlers, which gives us joy and new life. Their families have approached us to register as members, and often to place a child in school. Due in large part to this, our school went from160 total students to 230 this year.
Secondly, a special sign of hope and talent is our own Parish Pastoral Strategic Plan. We began last March and published the “finished” plan two weeks ago, as a template for parish growth the next few years. I say “finished” because of course it’s only finished as we flesh it out. We have printed copies and it’s on our website, so I encourage you to go through it and see where you can help. These were the areas prioritized by our parishioners. In fact, I don’t want to start new significant programs here until we’ve addressed what’s in this plan first.
Thirdly, WE ARE STILL ALIVE !! as a parish. The Archdiocesan planning process has now turned to most all parishes, including St. Monica, to remain open and in practice (as opposed to an earlier plan with many parish closures). We will be sharing a pastor with nearby parishes, finalized soon. I still hear anxiety about this, so it’s time to BELIEVE IN THE NEW LIFE WE’VE BEEN GIVEN.
Of course, there are times with any of us that we don’t feel this joy and hope. Neither did the first apostles, even when they’d seen the Lord. But I look to the parish to be a center of redeemed people sharing their joy in the Lord, healing each other. So if we don’t feel the Resurrection, it reminds us that we have to take the joy inside. It’s our joy, and like the apostles, we have to make an act of faith. Then the signs of the Resurrection will become clearer, and eventually, yes, we’ll feel it.
This year I’m struck by the FRESHNESS of life we have in Jesus. The Resurrection continues to ripple throughout history, and into our lives if we let it. If we do, we rise to a NEW LIFE.
Fr. Tim Foley and I thank you profoundly for the chance to be your priests, both at the Eucharist and in all the other moments of this amazing parish. May we go on together to be surprised at the new life God still has in store for us in countless ways.
Fr Tom Wyrsch